Jul 25, 2010
When I try to start up my machine, the Dell boot screen with the F2 and F12 options appear, but instead of moving on to the Windows XP loading screen, it simply shows a black screen with a blinking cursor in the top left. I cannot type anything with this cursor. There is clearly something wrong with the boot procedure or, I think, with my hard drive. The hard drive (160gb) is new and has been working well since February.I'm using a Dell Inspiron 9300 laptop. I've run Diagnostics with no errors, booted from XP CD to try bootcfg /rebuild, fixboot & fixmbr, and the lengthy chkdsk /r, all to no avail. I've even tried replacing two NTLDR files by copying them from the XP CD. Nothing has worked; I still have a black screen with a flashing cursor when my HDD should be loading. I've tried removing and reinserting the HDD itself, also to no avail. I haven't yet opened the case up to try to see if there's anything to clean or any botched connections, but I don't see how something like that would have happened on its own. All of my components (RAM, HDD, Video Card, Processor, etc.) seem to be recognized in the BIOS menu.
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I should note that when I run chkdsk /r, the progress quickly gets to 25%, slows down and takes a while to get to 51%, and then slows down even more and takes maybe two or three hours to complete. I also notice that the progress advances to about 65% sometimes and then returns to 50% again. I've run chkdsk several times now and there's been no improvement in the startup.I realize I could simply reformat and reinstall Windows, but I have a lot of very important data and work stored on my drive that I hadn't had a chance to backup to my external drive. Please let me know if there's a way I can get the startup to work so that I can access my files again.